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Psych nurse looking how to transfer into critical care. Is it possible?

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The0Walrus is a ASN, RN and specializes in Psych.

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Is it possible to transfer from psych nursing after 6 months into critical care or Step down ICU? Any help would be welcomed. Thank you!

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SqrB3ar is a BSN, RN and specializes in Burn ICU.

91 Posts; 1,435 Profile Views

Have you been applying to critical care jobs all this time? Are you still eligible for new grad residency programs with a critical care component? I think it is possible... sorry I do not have much advice on what to do! I will say, if you are able to get an interview (outside or within your facility), it is all about how you sell yourself, how your psych skills can be an asset to their unit. Perhaps think about working in med surg part time or per diem as well to show you still have skills. A lot of people think that once you are in psych you lose all nursing skills, but psych gives one invaluable skills that can be applied to all aspects of life.

 

Hopefully an experienced nurse can give you better feedback, I am barely starting my career. Good luck! 🙂 

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JBMmom has 6 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care.

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The cliche answer would be anything is possible. A more realistic answer is that it's going to depend upon a lot of things. First are there openings in the position(s) you're interested in? If it's a competitive workplace, you will likely not be the top candidate with six months of psych experience. If you're within the same system, you may not be eligible to move until you have a year experience. While psych experience does have value, little of that will translate into acute workplace environments so you're going to be looking at a full orientation. With six months experience you may still be able to apply for new grad programs in your area, you should check that out. Good luck in pursuing your new goal.

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Depends as much on your local job market as anything else. Send out a ton of resumes and applications. Depending on the job market, you might have to sign a contract to stay in place for a couple years or consider relocating. If you're willing to do this, just keep applying and you'll surely get a position. 

For whatever it's worth, there's a kind of sweet spot for work experience before transferring. If you stay too long in an unrelated field (a bunch of years), employers will often assume that they're not getting good bang for their buck, since your skills won't entirely translate and you'll have forgotten a lot of what you learned in nursing school, but HR typically puts you on a pay scale based on your total years of experience as a nurse rather than based on your relevant experience. On the other hand, if you jump ship too soon (roughly speaking, under 1 year), hiring managers can think you might be a little flaky and could be a bad bet to stick around, or else ran into problems at your first job. In other words, keep trying to find a position, but sometimes waiting a position out for a full year helps. 

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The0Walrus is a ASN, RN and specializes in Psych.

1 Follower; 79 Posts; 1,520 Profile Views

1 hour ago, Cowboyardee said:

Depends as much on your local job market as anything else. Send out a ton of resumes and applications. Depending on the job market, you might have to sign a contract to stay in place for a couple years or consider relocating. If you're willing to do this, just keep applying and you'll surely get a position. 

For whatever it's worth, there's a kind of sweet spot for work experience before transferring. If you stay too long in an unrelated field (a bunch of years), employers will often assume that they're not getting good bang for their buck, since your skills won't entirely translate and you'll have forgotten a lot of what you learned in nursing school, but HR typically puts you on a pay scale based on your total years of experience as a nurse rather than based on your relevant experience. On the other hand, if you jump ship too soon (roughly speaking, under 1 year), hiring managers can think you might be a little flaky and could be a bad bet to stick around, or else ran into problems at your first job. In other words, keep trying to find a position, but sometimes waiting a position out for a full year helps. 

I went to the ICU and spoke to the nurse manager. She said she would have no problem having me shadow a nurse and giving me a few days here and there to help. I have to wait 6 months before I can transfer though she said, but would have no real issue if I don't mind taking overnights. I'll work any shifts for any days if she would say yes lol

 

Thanks a lot for the responses! I was so worried I would be stuck. I have read that though that if I wait too long it can be tough. I joined the AACN & plan on going to several conventions in the mean time do when I apply in the next 6 months it'll show that I've been working to continue learning.

Edited by The0Walrus

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